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Market Research Project Report

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Market Research Project Report

  1. 1.   ARP  REPORT       1   IDENTIFICATION  OF  THINK   PROCUREMENT’S  POTENTIAL   SUPPLIERS   Applied  Research  Project  Report   4/13/2015                                                                                                                                  think   Buying  Better  Profits   Authored  by:       Ankit  Sinha   Arun  Palaniappan   Chaitali  Karnik   Shuyaasha  Misra  
  2. 2.   ARP  REPORT       2   1.  Executive  Summary   1.1  Abstract     Purpose: The objective of the project was to conduct a research on think’s potential suppliers, and narrow down their requirements and aspirations from a distribution strategy whether online or conventional. Once the must-haves and want-haves were discovered, think would leverage these insights to create marketing strategies and case study materials, which would augment their marketing efforts, and drive higher supplier enrolment. Method: We designed a series of questions, in close conjunction with the client team, thus ensuring that the research methods were aligned with think’s goals, at every point. To this end, we followed the process: Ø Designed a survey on basis of the questionnaire designed. Ø Sent the survey across to small and medium range of suppliers across industries and geographies, to include sectors like IT, Healthcare, Travel, Retail and countries such as India and Australia. Ø A total of 32 responses were noted. The sample size was 450, which means a response rate of 7%, was recorded. Ø Post this, we analyzed the results, by grouping together various question variables like the target market, and availability of portal. Ø The techniques used were Descriptive Statistics, Discriminant Analysis, Chi-Square testing. Ø Secondary Research and Porter’s five forces analysis was also carried out.   Findings: Our key findings from the research project are enumerated below: Ø Think procurement should adopt and propagate an aggressive content strategy across social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Ø The survey showed that debtor’s days and invoicing were the key problem areas for the suppliers. Thus the organization should use these at the core of their marketing tactics. Ø The industry type determined the priority for suppliers. For instance, IT rated the number of distribution channels, whereas Hospitality rated customer loyalty as the highest. Ø Suppliers ‘debtors’ days can be reduced by 75% by use of online portal.
  3. 3.   ARP  REPORT       3   1.2  Introduction   ‘Procurement’  may  be  defined  as  the  business  function  dealing  with  the  sourcing  and   acquiring  of  goods  and  services.  A  series  of  activities  and  processes  fall  under  the   purview  of  procurement.  These  include,  and  are  not  limited  to  vendor  relationships  and   evaluation,  sourcing,  negotiation  of  existing  and  new  contracts.       E-­‐procurement,  thus,  means  performing  of  this  function  electronically,  which  not  only   makes  procurement  tasks  easy,  but  also  highly  cost  effective.    E-­‐procurement  deals  not   only  in  the  act  of  buying  and  selling,  but  also  consists  of  additional  steps  like  request  for   information,  payment  systems,  vendor  management,  and  catalogue  maintenance.     The  market  for  e-­‐procurement  is  set  to  grow,  as  the  transparency  and  ease  due  to  e-­‐ procurement  strategies  is  a  key  selling  point.  The  burgeoning  need  for  e-­‐procurement,  in   both  small  and  large  organizations,  will  accelerate.       Think  is  an  e-­‐procurement  organization,  which  was  founded  back  in  2005,  by  Adam  Ryan,   who  is  one  of  the  founding  members  of  seek.com.  Headquartered  in  Melbourne,   Australia,  its  primary  aim  is  to  bring  together  buyers  and  suppliers  on  a  single,  B2B   transactional  platform,  facilitating  business,  and  driving  up  consumer  value.       Think  is  thus,  a  firm  that  provides  innovative  SaaS  based  e-­‐procurement  solutions  and   procurement  services  to  its  client  base,  thereby  allowing  them  to  enhance  performance,   by  re-­‐engineering  their  procurement  initiatives.     It  holds  a  simple  philosophy  of  ‘creating  low  cost,  and  high  value’  solutions  for  its  clients.   The  think  team  has  in  its  repertoire,  a  wide  ranging  set  of  experiences  that  cuts  across   industries  and  procurement  technologies.       Some  of  the  key  features  of  the  think  platform  include:  data  cleansing,  3-­‐way  matching   system,  catalogue  management,  comprehensive  travel  and  expense  management   systems  integrated  into  the  platform  itself.       Currently,  think’s  business  model  allows  its  suppliers  to  register  on  its  platform  for  free,   giving  them  access  to  the  buyer  information,  and  a  stage  on  which  to  manage  their   clients.       The  suppliers  not  only  get  to  manage  their  buyers,  they  also  get  to  ensure  buyer  contract   compliance,  limit  off  contract  purchasing,  and    enable  conformance  to  a  3  day  payment   period.      
  4. 4.   ARP  REPORT       4   In  addition  to  this,  think  is  not  just  isolated  software,  limited  to  a  single  client  –  it  brings   together  many  suppliers  and  buyers  on  the  same  platform.  It  does  this,  while  also   maintaining  security  and  policy  adherence.       Think  generates  invoices  efficiently  on  behalf  of  the  supplier,  with  all  invoices  being   integrated  into  the  supplier’s  ERP  system.  Also,  the  back  office  costs  incurred  by  think   are  significantly  reduced,  all  at  zero  marketing  cost.       A  typical  think  process  order,  when  placed  by  a  buyer,  is  submitted  to  policy  and  security   approvals,  following  which  the  order  is  checked  out.  The  admin  is  notified,  and  once   acceptance  is  granted,  the  order  is  specified.  The  invoice,  purchase  order  and  transaction   summary  are  created.  This  way,  the  process  is  simplified  and  streamlined  for  both  the   supplier  and  buyer.       This  is  a  P2P  system,  which  means  the  payment  systems  are  either  integrated  with  the   buyers’  banks,  or  EFT,  credit  and  debit  payments  are  made  via  the  think  system.     Given  their  user  friendly  interface,  and  a  highly  convenient  integrated  system,  think  is   now  looking  to  understand  the  market  that  it  operates  in,  with  a  special  focus  on  the   suppliers.  Essentially,  an  approach  to  marketing  was  to  be  ascertained.     The  market  that  think  operates  is  fairly  new,  and  the  need  for  simpler  procurement   solutions  is  making  itself  felt.  Other  players  as  well  suppliers’  own  systems  make   differentiation  absolutely  critical.       This  report  aimed  at  putting  together  a  database  of  information  that  think  could  leverage   either  as  marketing  materials,  or  as  the  crux  of  their  strategies,  in  order  to  attract  more   suppliers  into  its  fold.     Thus,  our  project  was  aimed  at  the  specific  segments  of  suppliers  that  think  intends  to   target,  and  to  develop  a  key  understanding  of  the  distribution  strategies  they  have  in   place,  whether  they  have  an  understanding  of  what  e-­‐procurement  is,  and  how  they   could  benefit  from  coming  on  board.          
  5. 5.   ARP  REPORT       5   Table  Of  Contents   1.Executive  Summary…………………………………………………………………………………..2   1.1 Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………2   1.2 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….3   Table  of  Figures………………………………………………………………………………………...6   2. Objective……………………………………………………………………………………….7   3. Research  Problem……………………………………………………………………………..7   4. Research  Question…………………………………………………………………………….9   5. Secondary  Research…………………………………………………………………….........10   5.1 Literature  Review………………………………………………………………………..10   5.2 What  is  Research  Design………………………………………………………………...11   5.3 Cloud  Invoice  Management……………………………………………………………..12   6. Research  Concept…………………………………………………………………………....16   6.1 Theory……………………………………………………………………………………16   6.2 Propositions……………………………………………………………………………...16   6.3 Develop  measures  and  samples…………………………………………………………17   6.4 Collect  Data………………………………………………………………………………17   6.5 Analyze  Data……………………………………………………………………………..17   6.6 Implications………………………………………………………………………………17   7. Research  Design……………………………………………………………………………...17   8. Data  Analysis…………………………………………………………………………............18   8.1 Descriptive  Statistics…………………………………………………………………….18   8.2 Comparison  using  Chi-­‐square  test………………………………………………............22   8.3 Discrimant  Analysis  to  predict…………………………………………………………..23   9. Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………...26   9.1 Marketing  Strategies…………………………………………………………………….26   9.2 Identify  supplier  groups…………………………………………………………………27   9.3 Brand  Positioning………………………………………………………………………..27   9.4 Content  Strategies  for  Think  Procurement…………………………………………….29   9.5 Key  Takeaways…………………………………………………………………………..31   10. Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………….........32   11. Appendix……………………………………………………………………………………..33   10.1  Survey  Questions  for  think  Suppliers…………………………………………………...33              
  6. 6.   ARP  REPORT       6   Table  of  Figures   Figure  1:  Porter’s  5  Forces……………………………………………………………………………..8   Figure  2:  The  logic  of  a  research  process…………………………………………………………….11   Figure  3:  Top  Objectives  while  considering  Automation…………………………………………….12   Figure  4:  Challenges  faced  in  using  paper-­‐based  invoicing  system…………………………………13   Figure  5:  Online  Portal  Test…………………………………………………………………………...18   Figure  6:  Payment  gateway  summary………………………………………………………………..18   Figure  7:  Effectiveness  of  Current  Online  Portal…………………………………………………….19   Figure  8:  Industry  Segmentation……………………………………………………………………..19   Figure  9:  Importance  of  factors  for  online  distribution……………………………………………..20   Figure  10:  Functionalities  mean  responses…………………………………………………………..21   Figure  11:  Online  Portal  v/s  Problems  faced………………………………………………………….21   Figure  12:  Online  Portal  Availability  v/s  Debtors  Days……………………………………………….22   Figure  13:  Wilk’s  Labda  result………………………………………………………………………...23   Figure  14:  Test  of  Equality  of  Means…………………………………………………………………24   Figure  15:  Standardized  canonical  coefficients  table………………………………………………..25   Figure  16:  Unstandardized  canonical  coefficient  table……………………………………………...25   Figure  17:  Clasiification  of  Results……………………………………………………………………26   Figure  18:  Current  Scenario  of  e-­‐  procurement  industry……………………………………………28   Figure  19:  Change  in  e-­‐procurement  industry………………………………………………………29   Figure  20:  Utilitarian  Experience…………………………………………………………………….30`    
  7. 7.   ARP  REPORT       7   2.  Objective     The  objective  of  our  research  was  to  conduct  a  survey  on  think’s  potential  suppliers.  The   base  we  explored  for  this  was  a  range  of  small  and  medium  level  entrepreneurial   ventures,  with  annual  revenues  under  the  bracket  of  20  million.  Think  holds  a  wide  base   of  buyers,  and  in  order  to  attract  the  suppliers,  they  wished  to  understand  the  key  issues   that  suppliers  faced,  in  their  existing  and  aspirational  strategies.  Thus,  our  goals  were   three  pronged,  aiming  at  getting  a  firm  understanding  of  the  points  enumerated  below:       1)  The  current  distribution  strategies  deployed  by  these  organizations,  their  benefits  and   drawbacks;  whether  they  are  traditional  or  original.       2)  In  the  absence  of  an  already  existing  online  strategy,  the  expectations  of  the  suppliers   from  an  online  model.     3)  Their  business  models,  and  requirements  and  how  think  may  be  mapped  to  address   them.       3.  Research  Problem     The  problem  we  sought  to  address  was  closely  related  to  the  issue  identified.  Essentially,  an   identification  of  the  need  –  aimed  at  the  suppliers’  requirements  and  aspirations  from  a   distribution  strategy,  was  needed  by  think.  To  this  end,  we  sought  to  build  on  the  objectives   stated  above.       As  per  our  conversation  with  the  think  team,  the  firm  needed  us  to  conduct  a  market   research   on  what  suppliers  need,  and  how  they  could  leverage  the  insights  to  convert  these  suppliers     into  early  adopters.     These  insights  were  related  to  the  suppliers’  current  strategy  –  online,  traditional  and  the   pros  and  cons  in  place.  They  also  included  information  regarding  the  supplier  invoicing,   debtors’  days,  annual  turnovers,  and  the  key  features  that  they  would  want  in  their   strategies,  so  as  to  differentiate  their  business  better..    
  8. 8.   ARP  REPORT       8   Porter’s  Five  Forces       We  carried  out  a  brief  analysis  of  the  industry  wherein  think  functions  –  e-­‐ procurement,  e-­‐commerce  platforms,  using  Porter’s  five  forces  as  a  basis.                   Findings:       1.  New  Entrants/  Substitutes:       The  field  of  e-­‐procurement  is  still  fairly  new,  which  is  an  advantage  for  think.  However,   secondary  research  shows  us  that  there  are  various  cloud  based  platforms  available  in  the   market,  such  as  Tradogram,  eRequester,  RS  e-­‐Procurement  etc.       In  Australia  itself  for  instance,  there  are  existing  organizations,  which  offer  SaaS  based   solutions  for  e-­‐Tender,  e-­‐Procurement,  such  as  TenderSearch.    These  also  leverage  ‘Cloud   Computing’  technology.     Further,  as  substitutes,  many  organizations  go  for  their  own  websites,  or  third  party   websites.  (RS  E-­‐procurement)  (TenderSearch)  (Capterra)               Figure 1: Porter’s 5 forces
  9. 9.   ARP  REPORT       9   2.  Degree  of  Rivalry:       The  field  of  e-­‐procurement  seems  set  to  grow,  given  the  positive  sentiment  surrounding  the   initiatives,  as  was  seen  with  the  launch  of  the  Victorian  eProcurement  system  EC4P  back  in   2002,  and  the  subsequent  interest  in  online  procurement  management  strategies  generated.     As  per  the  Australian  Government’s  department  of  finance,  since  the  Commonwealth   Electronic  Procurement  Implementation  Strategy  was  launched  in  2000,  the  two  outcomes   seen  are  the  processes  have  now  become  easy,  as  well  as  highly  transparent.  (CIO)   (Australian  Government  -­‐  Department  of  Finance)         3.  Bargaining  Power  of  Buyers  and  Suppliers:         Given  the  budding  stage  of  this  market,  buyers  and  suppliers  are  not  yet  fully  aware  of  the   organisation  and  the  niche  segment.       The  current  target  sector  for  think  is  small  and  medium  level  enterprises,  which  would  have   lesser  bargaining  power,  unless  they  are  established.       In  order  to  mitigate  the  challenges  and  risks  posed  by  this  growing  market,  think  must   leverage  its  key  differentiators,  such  as:       One  of  the  disadvantages  think  may  encounter  would  be  that  it  is  a  standalone  application,   and  not  one  that  can  be  seamlessly  integrated  into  the  organization’s  already  existing   procurement  processes.  (TenderSearch)       Thus,  think  must  take  necessary  steps  to  make  the  platform  as  appealing  to  the  market  as   possible,  by  development  and  propagation  of  persuasive,  effective  marketing  strategies.   (Australian  Government  -­‐  Department  of  Finance)     4.  Research  Question   In  any  market  research  the  research  question  is  of  paramount  importance.  All  of  the  research   concept,  research  design,  literature  review,  data  collection,  survey  and  a  part  of  the  data   analysis  are  given  direction  by  this  research  question.       “Do  you  have  an  online  selling  portal  of  your  own  or  a  third  party  website?  And  if  not,   would  you  be  interested  in  creating  an  online  presence  with  the  help  of  a  third-­‐party   provider?  
  10. 10.   ARP  REPORT       10   5.  Secondary  Research     5.1  Literature  Review     Our  literature  review  and  secondary  research  primarily  revolved  around  understanding  the   following  objectives:   • Research  Design  and  purpose   • Advantages  of  automating  your  procurement  process.   • Best  practices  and  standards  in  invoicing.   • Advantages  of  electronic  invoicing   • Gaps  in  the  electronic  invoicing  process   • Importance  and  usefulness  of  analytics  in  e-­‐procurement   • Indicators  of  a  successful  e-­‐procurement  platform   Below  are  the  articles  and  journals  the  group  will  read  as  part  of  our  literature  review  and   secondary  research       Table  1:  Name  of  the  article,  publication  and  the  author  used  for  Literature  review      Name  of  the  article     Publication/  Author   What  is  Research  Design?   nyu.edu   Cloud  Invoice  Management-­‐SMB   Aberdeen  group   Excellence  in  order  management   Aberdeen  group   Are  you  getting  the  most  out  of  your   VMS   Aberdeen  group   Achieve  business  agility  through  e-­‐ invoicing  and  other  key  AP   automation  initiatives.     Aberdeen  group   Leader’s  winning  strategies  for   common  issues  in  AP  and  AR   electronic  payments   Aberdeen  group   The  Deloitte  Global  CPO  Survey  2013   Deloitte   Understanding  and  embracing  value   based  approaches  from  procurement   Sourcing  interest  group   Driving  smarter  spending   Verian     Duplicate  payments  and  duplicate   Christine  L.  Warner  
  11. 11.   ARP  REPORT       11   vendors   Top  10  metrics  to  strengthen   organizational  practices   Richard  Waugh       Some  of  the  key  insights  and  the  takeaways  from  these  articles  are  elaborated  as  follows:       5.2  What  is  Research  Design?     Research  needs  a  design  or  a  structure  before  data  collection  or  analysis  can  commence.  The   function  of  a  research  design  is  to  ensure  that  the  evidence  obtained  enables  us  to  answer   the  initial  question  as  unambiguously  as  possible.  Research  design  is  different  from  the   method       by  which  data  are  collected.  It  is  not  uncommon  to  see  research  design  treated  as  a  mode  of   data  collection  rather  than  as  a  logical  structure  of  the  inquiry.  But  there  is  nothing  intrinsic       about  any  research  design  that  requires  a  particular  method  of  data  collection.  Research   design  refers  to  the  structure  of  an  enquiry:  it  is  a  logical  matter  rather  than  a  logistical  one.       Figure  2:  The  logic  of  a  research  process     (NYu.edu)  
  12. 12.   ARP  REPORT       12   Papers  published  by  the  Aberdeen  group     5.3  Cloud  Invoice  Management-­‐SMB     100  accounts  payable  (AP)  professionals  from  business  of  all  sizes  were  surveyed  to   understand  better  the  challenges  they  face  as  far  as  invoicing  is  concerned.  The  focus  of  this   paper  was  the  74  small  and  mid-­‐size  businesses  (SMB)  and  some  of  the  key  insights  are  as   follows:   • 53%  of  respondents  felt  cost  reduction  was  the  most  important  factor.   • Cash  flow  visibility  and  possibility  of  payment  fraud  came  in  as  the  other  two  most   important  factors.     • 73%  wanted  to  automate  their  invoicing  process.   • Large  businesses  on  an  average  processed  1200  invoices  a  month  per  full  time   employee  (FTE)  and  SMB  processed  970  FTE,  this  difference  in  performance  was  only   due  to  gaps  in  technology.   • SMBs  lag  far  behind  large  enterprises  in  their  adoption  of  technologies.   (Aberdeen  group)   Excellence  in  order  management   This  report  explores  the  top  objectives  for  automating  the  order  processing  and  following   are  some  of  the  insights:   The  ability  to  serve  customers  quickly  and  provide  timely  order  confirmations  provides  a   competitive  edge  in  today’s  business  environment.     Figure  3:  Top  objectives  while  considering  automation   (Aberdeen  group)   4  factors  companies  hoping  to  drive  success  through  the  entire  processing  cycle  should   consider  are  as  follows:  
  13. 13.   ARP  REPORT       13   • Time  is  money,  cash  is  king.   • Automation  is  the  silver  bullet.   • Standardization  and  integration  are  the  future.   • The  cloud  is  rising   (Aberdeen  group)   Are  you  getting  the  most  out  of  your  VMS?   • The  three  benefits  of  having  a  VMS  are  as  compliance,  Productivity,  and  Visibility.   • Only  36%  are  satisfied  with  their  current  provider.   • The  3  factors  to  consider  while  choosing  a  new  provider  are  the  delivery  model,   analytics  and  integration.   • 50%  of  organizations  think  integration  is  the  most  important  factor  while  choosing  a   new  vendor.   • 37%  of  organizations  think  analytics  is  the  most  important  factor  while  choosing  a   new  vendor.   (Aberdeen  group)   Achieve  business  agility  through  e-­‐invoicing  and  other  key  AP  automation  initiatives.   The  number  one  challenge  for  organizations  today  in  AP  is  difficulty  finding  or  managing   paper  based  documents.   Days  Payable  Outstanding:   • Best-­‐in-­‐Class:  21   • Industry  Average:  33   • Laggards:  34       Figure  4:  Challenges  faced  while  using  paper  based  invoicing  systems   (Aberdeen  group)  
  14. 14.   ARP  REPORT       14   4  key  segments  in  invoicing  automation  initiative  which  are:   • Technology  selection   • Employment  engagement   • Supplier  collaboration   • Technology  Implementation   (Aberdeen  group)   Leader’s  winning  strategies  for  common  issues  in  AP  and  AR  electronic  payments   The  article  focuses  on  electronic  payments  of  accounts  payable  and  accounts  receivable  by   companies.  It  suggests  that  companies  that  have  their  accounts  payable  and  accounts   receivable  processes  automated  tend  to  benefit  more  and  emerge  as  market  leaders.     • Electronic  transactions  reduce  the  processing  costs  by  25%  for  the  leaders.     • Leaders  with  automated  accounts  payable  procedures  take  only  7.3  days  to  process   an  invoice     • Similarly  for  AR  the  DSO  (day’s  sales  outstanding)  for  followers  is  85%  greater  than   for  leaders.     The  aforementioned  statistics  suggest  that  companies  which  use  electronic  payments  and   automation  for  their  accounts  payable  and  receivables  can  significantly  improve  process   time,  capture  discounts,  reduce  complexity  and  improve  financial  visibility.     The  above  information  is  of  critical  importance  to  Think  Procurement  as  the  Think  platform   offers  electronic  reconciliation  of  accounts  receivable  leading  to  lesser  DSO  and  improved   financial  visibility.   (Aberdeen  group)   Deloitte  UK  CPO  Survey  2013:       It  talks  about  the  key  priorities  for  CPOs,  the  top  three  of  which  are  –  new  product   development,  cost  reduction,  and  organic  expansion.  With  globalization  still  charting  murky   waters,  CPOs  must  remain  focussed  on  cost  control,  using  procurement  strategies  to  aid   organizations’  return  to  profitable  growth.  The  findings  from  the  survey  highlight  that  only   about  60%  of  CPOs  are  effective  at  delivery  this  value,  which  as  research  showed,  stemmed   from  a  host  of  reasons  like  right  agenda,  misaligned  objectives,  lack  of  relevant  measures,   etc.       The  survey  then  looked  at  how  procurement  can  aim  to  be  more  effective,  suggestions   included  –  tailored  measures,  creating  partnership  based  roles,  increased  capability  by   means  of  improved  tools.  The  report  examined  the  changes  to  be  factored  into   procurement  from  a  risk  accountability  perspective,  digital  age,  future  implications   viewpoints,  across  regions  and  industries.  For  instance,  procurement  and  technology  are   closely  inter-­‐linked,  but  on  the  analysis  of  analytics,  findings  showed  that  most  CPOs  still   emphasise  on  retrospective  data,  and  although  spending  on  technology  is  set  to  show  a  
  15. 15.   ARP  REPORT       15   steep  rise,  there  still  remain  barriers  to  adoption  of  data/analytics.  To  this  end,  the  report   makes  recommendations  on  the  steps  to  be  taken  by  CPOs,  in  order  to  invest  effectively  in   digital  assets.     (Deloitte  Group  )    Duplicate  payments  and  duplicate  vendors:       Duplicate  payments  and  invoices  are  a  major  problem  for  organizations  across   industries.  Many  companies  do  have  in-­‐built  duplicate  payment  detecting  processes;   however  these  usually  require  deep  querying  to  effectively  give  results.     It  enlists  the  common  mistakes  made  by  establishments,  delineating  algorithms  and   strategies  to  overcome  these  pitfalls  in  identifying  duplicate  invoices.  Further,  in  order  to   improve  accuracy,  certain  logics  have  been  given  in  the  report,  for  different  scenarios,  such   as  when  the  duplicates  have  same  vendor,  same  date  or  same  amount,  which  may  be  used  in   conjunction  with  the  company’s  existing  systems.  Similarly,  the  article  delves  in  detail  about   duplicate  vendors,  in  which  multiple  vendor  numbers  are  used  for  the  same  vendor.    This  is  a   concern  because  it  leads  directly  to  double  payments.  As  is  the  case  with  duplicate   payments,  companies  usually  have  accounting  packages  which  catch  duplicate  vendors.  In   our  project,  we  have  combed  through  the  report,  and  although  there  are  suggestions  that   would  be  good  to  take  up,  we  believe  an  organisation  operating  with  the  think  platform   would  have  no  need  of  it  –  given  their  feature  of  3-­‐way  matching.       The  3-­‐way  matching  allows  the  automatic  tracking  of  the  invoices,  thus  greatly  reducing   chances  of  invoice  duplication.   (Christine.  L.  Warner)     Top  10  metrics  to  strengthen  organizational  procurement  practices     The  article  talks  about  the  importance  of  efficient  procurement.  It  introduces  the  term  spend   under  management  (SUM)  which  is  spending  that  is  actively  managed  and  controlled  by  the   procurement  team.  100%  SUM  is  only  possible  in  theory  however  successful  firms  have  a   majority  of  their  spending  being  done  as  “managed  spending”.  Also  with  SUM  the  company   has  to  adhere  to  line  wise  spending  in  order  to  have  visibility  on  its  overall  expenses  and  stay   efficient  with  the  costs.  With  spend  under  management  20%  of  the  suppliers  account  for  80%   of  the  spending.     An  important  aspect  of  effective  organizational  procurement  practices  is  supplier   management.  Procuring  only  from  a  set  of  suppliers  ensures  uniformity  in  products  as  well   as  the  opportunity  to  earn  volume  discounts.  This  can  majorly  increase  a  company’s   negotiating  ability  and  in  turn  increase  revenues.   (Richard  Waugh)  
  16. 16.   ARP  REPORT       16   6.  Research  Concept     We  conceptualize  the  research  using  a  5-­‐staged  approach  that  we  discovered  in  our  literature  review  ,   which  is  as  follows:     6.1 Theory     This  stage  involved  testing  a  theory  postulated  from  observations  based  on   secondary  research.  The  theory  to  be  tested  was  as  follows:     o Issues  in  invoicing  and  average  number  of  debtor  days  are  major  concerns  for   Suppliers  due  to  lack  of  automation.     The  test  this  theory  the  prediction  that  an  online  distribution  strategy  could  help   minimize  these  issues  by  means  of  automation  in  processing.     6.2 Propositions     The  following  propositions  were  made  to  test  the  above-­‐mentioned  theory:     Ø Proposition1:  An  effective  online  distribution  strategy  can  help  reduce  costs  of   invoicing  &  improve  the  average  debtor  days  for  suppliers   Ø Proposition  2:  An  online  distribution  strategy  is  not  that  effective  in  reducing   costs  of  invoicing  &  improving  the  average  debtor  days  for  suppliers   Ø Proposition  3:  Benefits  outlined  by  means  of  reduction  in  invoicing  costs  and   time  would  attract  Suppliers  to  adopt  Think  Procurement’s  online  distribution   portal.     6.3 Develop  measures  &  samples     Basis  the  theory  and  deduced  propositions  a  survey  questionnaire  was  designed  to   gather  information  from  the  supplier’s.  The  survey  questions  focused  on  4  major   areas  that  were  in  line  with  the  objectives  of  the  research.   The  questions  were  divided  in  3  groups:  Suppliers  with  an  online  portal,  Suppliers   without  an  online  portal  &  both.     • Suppliers  with  an  online  portal:   o Rate  the  effectiveness  of  their  existing  distribution  channels   o Select  the  factors  that  they  wish  to  improve  in  their  current  online  distribution   strategy.    
  17. 17.   ARP  REPORT       17   • Suppliers  without  an  online  portal:   o Factors  determining  success  of  an  online  distribution  strategy.   o Factors  that  enable  them  to  adopt  an  online  distribution  strategy   • Supplier  having  both  own  &  third  party  website:   o Information  regarding  invoicing  and  debtor  days.   o Factors  considered  important  to  the  overall  business     6.4 Collect  Data     • Creating  a  survey  and  circulating  the  same  via  email  and  social  media.   • Convenience  sampling  adopted     6.5 Analyse  Data     This  data  was  then  analysed  through  various  statistical  methods  such  as:   • Descriptive  Summary   • ANOVA   • Chi-­‐squre   • Disciminant  Analysis     6.6 Implications     The  data  analysis  presented  some  inferences,  which  were  then  used  as  implications  for  Think   Procurement.       7.  Research  Design   We  wanted  to  target  potential  suppliers  which  are  small  or  medium  scale  organizations.  These   suppliers  were  mostly  having  an  annual  turnover  of  less  than  $20  million.  We  started  with  a  list  of  400   possible  suppliers  located  in  India  and  Australia.  So  this  a  type  of  convenience  sample.     To  all  these  possible  suppliers  we  circulated  a  survey  by  the  means  of  phone,  mail  as  well  as  social   platforms  like  Twitter  and  Linkden.       The  survey  itself  is  attached  in  the  appendix  section.                  
  18. 18.   ARP  REPORT       18   8.  Data  Analysis     8.1  Descriptive  Statistics     For  many  qualitative  responses,  we  summarized  it  using  Descriptive  statistics.     Below  are  some  questions  and  their  summary  taken  on  mean  values.                 Fig.5:  Online  Portal  Test     The  figure  5  represents  the  percentage  of  suppliers  having  an  online  portal  for  selling  products  and   services.  It  was  observed  that  72%  of  suppliers  did  not  have  an  online  portal  in  place,  and  out  of  those,   70%  of  suppliers  showed  interest  in  signing  up  for  an  online  portal  to  enhance  their  business.         Fig.6:  Payment  Gateway  Summary     0%   10%   20%   30%   40%   50%   60%   70%   80%   Online  Portal  in  place   No  Online  Portal   Percentage  of  people   interested  in  signing   up  who  do  not  have  an   online  portal  in  place   Online  Portal  Test   0%   20%   40%   60%   80%   No  payment  gateway   Payment  gateway  in   place   Payment  Gateway  Test  
  19. 19.   ARP  REPORT       19   Figure  6  represented  the  percentage  of  suppliers  having  a  payment  gateway  to  sell  their  products   online.  60%  of  suppliers  believed  it  to  be  an  important  aspect  for  effective  business  solution.     Fig.7:  Effectiveness  of  Current  Online  Portal     A  descriptive  summary  test  was  done  as  represented  in  figure  7,  on  the  suppliers  who  currently  have   online  portal  and  the  factors,  which  are  most  effective  for  their  online  selling.  The  observation  here   was:   Irrelevant  of  whether  the  supplier  owned  the  online  portal  or  it  was  hosted  by  a  third  party,  they   rated  Number  of  clicks  and  Profits  as  the  two  most  important  outcomes  of  the  online  portal.         Fig.8:  Industry  segmentation   0   0.5   1   1.5   2   2.5   3   3.5   4   4.5   5   Revenue   Profits   No  of  clicks   Effectiveness  of  current  online  portal   Own  website   Third  Party   0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   Healthcare   Hospitality   IT   Manu  &   Construction   Retail   Industry  wise  factors  important  to  business   No  of  distribution  channels   Revenue   Customer  loyalty  
  20. 20.   ARP  REPORT       20   Industry  wise  segmentation  on  factors  such  as  Number  of  distribution  channels,  Revenue  and   Customer  Loyalty  revealed  that  Customer  Loyalty  was  the  most  important  factor  across  all  industries,   viz.  Healthcare,  Hospitality,  IT,  Manufacturing  &  Construction  and  Retail.  Number  of  distribution   channels  is  the  second  most  important  factor  for  all  industries  but  IT  but  for  IT  revenue  is  the  second   most  important  factor.     Q:  Which  is  the  most  important  factor  for  an  online  distribution  channel?   Option  responses  were  as  follows:   1. Increase  in  number  of  customers   2. Reducing  Accounts  Receivables   3. Sales  Conversion  Percentage   4. Increase  Profit   5. Stock  Turn-­‐over       Fig.9:  Importance  of  factors  for  Online  Distribution     From  the  responses  received,  we  inferred  that  Increasing  in  number  of  customers  and  reducing  the   accounts  receivables  were  the  most  prominent  factors  for  suppliers  opting  for  Online  Portal.     Q:  What  are  the  functionalities  that  affect  your  choice  of  Online  Distribution?   Option  responses  were  as  follows:   1. Minimal  Investment   2. Analytics   3. User  Interface   4. Ease  in  reconciling  invoices     0%   5%   10%   15%   20%   25%   30%   Stock  turn-­‐over   Increase  profit   Sales  conversion  percentage   Reduce  accounts  receivables   Increase  in  number  of  customers   Importance  of  factors  for  Online  Distribution  
  21. 21.   ARP  REPORT       21     Fig.10:  Functionalities  mean  responses       From  the  responses  for  this  question,  it  was  inferred  that  Invoices  restoration  and  Comfortable  User   Interface  were  significantly  important  functionalities  in  selecting  as  Online  Distribution.  Many   suppliers  also  stated  Analytics  as  an  important  factor,  since  it  helps  them  to  analyse  customer   preferences.             Fig:  11  Online  Portal  v/s  Problems  faced           0%   5%   10%   15%   20%   25%   30%   35%   40%   Minimal   Investment   Analytics   User  Interface   Ease  in   reconciling   invoices   Functionalities  affecting  choice  of   Online  Distribution   0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   Duplication   Descriptor  differences  between  customer   Difficulty  in  follow  ups   Customer  Losing  Invoices   Debt  Collection   Online  Portal  vs  Problems  faced   Yes   No  Online  portal  
  22. 22.   ARP  REPORT       22   8.2  Comparison  using  Chi-­‐square  Test     Chi-­‐square  concept  was  used  to  test  the  frequency  distribution  significance  for  the  Problems  faced  by   suppliers  against  the  suppliers  having  or  not  having  an  Online  Portal.  The  two  most  important   conclusions  for  this  are:   • Suppliers  not  having  an  Online  Portal  rate  Debt  Collection  as  their  strongest  Concern   followed  by  Losing  Invoices,  whereas   • Suppliers  having  an  Online  Portal  face  the  problems  of  Duplication  in  Invoices.         Fig:  12  Online  Portal  Availability  v/s  Debtors  days     Another  significant  chi-­‐square  result  was  obtained  on  Average  Debtors  days  against  the  availability  of   Online  Portal.  The  conclusions  are:   • Suppliers  having  an  Online  Portal,  on  an  average  have  debtors  days  as  less  than  14  days,   whereas   • Suppliers  having  no  online  portal  for  selling,  on  an  average  have  debtors  days  as  60  days   (averaged  between  31-­‐60  &  61-­‐90  days)     Hence  an  inference  that  follows  from  this  is  –     If  a  Supplier  opts  for  an  online  Portal  for  selling  tits  products  and  services,  it  can  reduce  its   Debtors  days  by  a  huge  75%.               0%   10%   20%   30%   40%   50%   60%   70%   <14   15-­‐30   31-­‐60   61-­‐90   91-­‐120   Online  Portal  Availability  vs  Debtors  Days   No  Online  portal   Online  Portal  in  place  
  23. 23.   ARP  REPORT       23   8.3  Discrimiant  Analysis  to  Predict  signing  up     Finally,  we  used  Discriminant  analysis  to  predict  the  suppliers’  interest  in  signing  up  for  an  online   distribution  channel.     Dependent  Variable:  Signing  up  (Yes/No)  for  suppliers       Independent  Variables  –     Demographics  such  as     • Company  Turnover   • Average  Debtor  days   • No  of  invoices  raised     Psychographic  factors  such  as     • Target  Market  (B2B,  B2C  or  Both)  and     • Availability  of  Online  Portal  (Yes/No)           Figure  13:  Wilk’s  Lambda  and  significance  value  for  Discriminant  Analysis       The  Wilk’s  Lambda  or  Viability  test  value  of  0.331  proves  that  only  33.1%  of  variation  in  prediction  is  not   accounted  by  the  independent  factors.  Almost  67%  of  variability  is  explained  by  the  factors.  This   proves  that  the  model  is  decent  and  we  can  proceed  with  further  tests.   The  significance  value  of  0.002  indicates  that  there  is  at  least  one  value,  which  is  significant.    
  24. 24.   ARP  REPORT       24     Figure  14  Test  of  Equality  of  Means  and  importance  of  each  factor     From  the  Test  of  equality,  it  can  be  easily  observed  that  the  psychographic  factors  –  supplier  broad   target  market  and  Availability  of  online  portal  are  highly  significant  in  explaining  the  variation  in  the   prediction  model.           Figure  15.    Standardized  Canonical  Discriminant  Function  Coefficients    
  25. 25.   ARP  REPORT       25   The  standardized  function  coefficient  table  signifies  the  loading  of  the  independent  factors.  It   accounts  for  the  weight  of  each  factor.       Figure  16.  unstandardized  coefficients  table     Finally  the  unstandardized  coefficient  helps  in  building  the  model  equation.   From  all  the  above  tables  and  data,  the  model  equation  can  be  formed  as:   Y  =  -­‐2.352  +  1.159*X1+  0.885*X2       Where-­‐   Y  =  Interest  in  signing  up  for  an  online  portal     X1  =  Supplier  broad  target  market,  and   X2  =  Availability  of  Online  Portal.      
  26. 26.   ARP  REPORT       26     Figure  17.  Classification  results     From  the  classification  results,  we  can  observe  that  we  can  accurately  predict  the  model  with  78.1  %   confidence.       9.  Recommendations     Basis  the  data  analysis  and  statistical  outputs  below  are  some  recommendations  that  Think   Procurement  can  use  to  develop  customized  marketing  strategies,  identify  supplier  groups   and  create  a  niche  brand  positioning.       9.1  Marketing  Strategies:     • The  data  analysis  revealed  that  suppliers  do  not  consider  online  distribution  channels   to  be  effective  when  it  comes  to  driving  the  top  line  billing  for  their  firms.   • Implication:  Think  Procurement  can  use  this  information  to  develop  their   marketing  communications  strategy  wherein  the  focus  would  be  on  acquiring   more  customers  for  the  suppliers  and  in  turn  drive  their  top  line  billing.     • In  terms  of  the  problems  faced  by  suppliers,  debt  collection  was  rated  the  highest  by   a  majority  of  the  suppliers  and  the  discriminant  analysis  showed  significance  in  the   average  debtor  days  predicting  the  adoption  of  an  online  distribution  portal.   • Implication:  Think  Procurement  should  focus  on  statistics  such  as  “75%   reduction  in  debtor  days”  in  their  marketing  material  to  address  dire  issues   faced  by  the  suppliers  and  present  a  solution.    
  27. 27.   ARP  REPORT       27   • The  secondary  research  and  Porter’s  5  forces  identified  Think’s  fluid  user  interface  to   be  a  competitive  edge.   • Implication:  Think  should  leverage  its  user  experience  and  interface  as  its  USP   in  the  market.     • Think’s  3  way  matching  process  can  be  used  as  an  order  winner  to  help  resolve  some   issues  faced  by  suppliers  such  as  customers  losing  invoices.     9.2  Identify  Supplier  groups:     The  research  identified  5  major  industries  of  suppliers:  Healthcare,  Hospitality,  IT,   Manufacturing  &  Construction,  Retail.  Analysis  of  the  research  data  revealed  that  the  factors   that  suppliers  consider  important  to  the  business  vary  from  industry  to  industry  and  hence   Think  Procurement  can  customize  their  marketing  strategies  basis  these  supplier  groups:     Healthcare,  Hospitality  &  Retail:  These  industries  consider  customer  loyalty  as  the  most   important  factor  to  their  business.  Think  Procurement  should  try  and  inculcate  this  insight  in   their  marketing  communication  to  these  industries.     IT:  The  IT  industry  considers  the  number  of  distribution  channels  to  be  least  important  &   customer  loyalty  to  be  the  highest;  this  insight  can  help  Think  procurement  to  target  their   communication.     Manufacturing  &  Construction:  This  industry  ranked  the  number  of  distribution  channels  &   customer  loyalty  to  be  of  most  importance.  Hence  whilst  talking  to  professionals  from  this   industry  Think  can  highlight  how  they  can  drive  the  above  mentioned  factors  for  their   business.     9.3  Brand  positioning:     Basis  our  research  and  the  Porter’s  5  forces  model  we  have  identified  a  gap  in  the  e-­‐ procurement  industry.  The  current  scenario  of  the  e-­‐procurement  industry  is  as  illustrated   below:    
  28. 28.   ARP  REPORT       28       Figure  18  Current  scenario  of  e-­‐procurement  industry   (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/about/mediaroom/latest-­‐press-­‐releases/north-­‐ american-­‐business-­‐to-­‐business-­‐b2b-­‐software-­‐marketers-­‐using-­‐more-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐ tactics-­‐than-­‐their-­‐peers/)   In  the  current  scenario  there  are  4  different  entities  that  play  4  distinct  roles.  Think   Procurement  has  the  opportunity  to  assume  a  larger  role  in  this  industry.  The  time  to  do  so   would  be  now  as  this  industry  is  in  its  nascent  stage.   Research  shows,  99%  of  software  marketers  are  using  content  marketing  as  per  a  research   conducted  by  the  Content  Marketing  Institute.  The  research  also  outlined  that  these   software  marketers  allocate  29%  of  their  marketing  budgets  to  content  marketing.   Think  Procurement  should  assume  the  role  of  an  industry  leader  and  adopt  an  aggressive   content  strategy.     The  role  of  a  service  provider  as  well  as  a  publisher  can  help  Think  to  migrate  from  a  seller  to   an  evangelizer.  The  content  strategy  would  comprise  of  the  following  facets:     • Distributing  materials  on  industry  best  practices,  issues  faced  by  procurement   managers  &  solutions  to  resolve  these  issues  should  be  used  as  marketing  material   and  distributed  via  social  media  channels  such  as  Twitter,  Facebook,  LinkedIn.   • Create  a  community  of  buyers  &  suppliers  interested  in  the  e-­‐procurement  industry   by  means  of  an  e-­‐magazine  and  email  digests.     • Conduct  conferences  on  new  trends  &  benefits  of  e-­‐procurement.  These  conferences   can  help  potential  suppliers  to  interact  prospective  and/or  existing  buyers.  By  these   means  Think  Procurement  can  also  acts  as  a  facilitator  of  quality  supplier  &  buyer   relations  and  in  turn  earns  the  trust  of  the  industry.   • Majority  of  Think  Procurement’s  promotions  should  contain  communication   revolving  around  “What  is  e-­‐procurement?”  “What  are  the  benefits  of  e-­‐ procurement”  and  then  directing  them  to  the  Think  procurement  website  which  
  29. 29.   ARP  REPORT       29   would  host  all  the  white  papers,  Case  studies  etc  as  opposed  to  selling  the  online   distribution  service  directly  to  customers.     The  above  practices  and  change  in  strategy  can  help  Think  procurement  appear  on  top  of   the  e-­‐procurement  industry  and  create  a  larger  role  for  them  as  illustrated  below:         Figure  19  Change  in  e-­‐procurement  industry   (Content  Strategy  for  Professionals:  Engaging  Audiences  for  Your  Organization)     9.4  Content  Strategy  for  Think  Procurement     Providing  insights,  research  data  and  sharing  best  practices  can  enable  Think  Procurement  to   provide  their  users  with  a  “Utilitarian  Experience”  of  content.   Such  an  experience  propagates  a  loyal  behaviour  amongst  the  readers  and  generates  higher   levels  of  interaction  due  to  the  sheer  importance  of  the  data  and  information  being   presented  to  them.    
  30. 30.   ARP  REPORT       30       Figure  20  the  Utilitarian  Experience   (http://www.insidecxm.com/new-­‐approaches-­‐for-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐promotion-­‐better-­‐use-­‐ of-­‐marketing-­‐analytics-­‐and-­‐leveraging-­‐sensors-­‐for-­‐improved-­‐customer-­‐experiences/)     The  strategic  approach  to  content  creation  and  distribution  for  a  brand  should  follow  the   below  mentioned  stages:     1. Development  of  a  concept  that  would  lay  the  outline  and  guide  the  content  touch   points  for  the  brand.   2. These  touch  points  define  the  length  and  extent  of  the  content  produced  by  the   brand  and  in  turn  create  experiences  for  the  audiences.     3. The  experience  of  the  audience  determines  their  level  of  interaction  and   expectations  as  well  as  the  actions  they  take  post  experiencing  the  content.   4. The  mission  of  the  brand  turned  publisher  must  be  to  contribute  to  the  audience  not   regarding  their  products  or  services  but  regarding  the  value  they  can  provide  to  the   audience.     Sustaining  the  “utilitarian  experience”  and  monitoring  the  user’s  attitude  towards  Think   Procurement:     • The  data  and  insights  provided  by  Think  Procurement  should  be  direct  &  easy  to  read   keeping  in  mind  that  the  audience  would  primarily  be  CEO,  CFOs  and  Managers  of   supplier  companies  and  CPOs  or  Procurement  managers  of  buyer  companies.  
  31. 31.   ARP  REPORT       31   • Articles  on  issues  faced  by  procurement  teams  with  an  expert  representing  Think   Procurement  providing  solutions  to  them.   • Coverage  of  industry  interface  events  that  would  enable  the  audience  to  stay  on  top   of  the  industry  trends  and  news.     The  success  of  the  content  strategy  can  be  determined  when  the  readers  think,  “The  way  to   stay  on  top  of  the  e-­‐procurement  industry  is  to  read  ____  (Think  Procurement’s  published   articles”     (Content  Strategy  for  Professionals:  Engaging  Audiences  for  Your  Organization)    Types  of  content  pieces  that  are  predominantly  used  by  Technology  companies  (in  order  of   importance):     1. White  papers   2. Blog  posts   3. Earned  media   4. Webinars   5. Info  graphics   6. News  releases   7. Videos   8. Case  Studies   9. Research  Reports     (http://www.insidecxm.com/new-­‐approaches-­‐for-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐promotion-­‐better-­‐use-­‐ of-­‐marketing-­‐analytics-­‐and-­‐leveraging-­‐sensors-­‐for-­‐improved-­‐customer-­‐experiences/)     9.5  Key  Takeaways     There  are  several  insights  and  takeaways  from  the  survey  and  the  secondary  research  that   we  were  able  to  gain  which  are  as  follows:     • 53%  of  respondents  felt  cost  reduction  was  the  most  important  factor.   • 73%  wanted  to  automate  their  invoicing  process.   • Only  36%  are  satisfied  with  their  current  provider.   • Electronic  transactions  reduce  the  processing  costs  by  25%  for  the  leaders.     • Leaders  with  automated  accounts  payable  procedures  take  only  7.3  days  to  process   an  invoice     • 70%  of  suppliers  did  not  have  an  online  portal.   • 72%  of  suppliers  that  did  not  have  an  online  portal  were  interested  in  signing  up  with   an  e  procurement  vendor.   • 60%  of  suppliers  think  having  a  payment  gateway  is  an  important  consideration.  
  32. 32.   ARP  REPORT       32   • Irrelevant  of  whether  the  supplier  owned  the  online  portal  or  it  was  hosted  by  a  third  party,   they  rated  Number  of  clicks  and  Profits  as  the  two  most  important  outcomes  of  the  online   portal.   • 37%  think  ease  in  invoicing  is  the  most  important  functionality  as  far  as  making  a   choice  of  an  online  portal  is  concerned.   • Debt  collection  is  the  biggest  problem  as  far  as  invoicing  is  concerned.   • If  a  Supplier  opts  for  an  online  Portal  for  selling  tits  products  and  services,  it  can  reduce  its   Debtors  days  by  a  huge  75%.   • The  psychographic  factors  –  supplier  broad  target  market  and  Availability  of  online  portal   are  highly  significant  in  explaining  the  variation  in  the  prediction  model.   •   10.  Bibliography   Bibliography   Porters  five  forces  model.  (n.d.).  Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  CrackMBA:  http://crackmba.com/wp-­‐ content/uploads/2012/03/Porters-­‐5-­‐forces-­‐Model.jpg   RS  E-­‐procurement.  (n.d.).  RS  E-­‐Procurement.  Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  RS  Australia:   http://documents.rs-­‐components.com/EITC/XA/online-­‐services/RS-­‐E-­‐Procurement-­‐au.pdf   TenderSearch.  (n.d.).  e-­‐procurement  solutions.  Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  Tender  Search:   https://www.tendersearch.com.au/Services/eProcurementSolutions.aspx   Capterra.  (n.d.).  eRequester.  Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  Capterra:   http://www.capterra.com/procurement-­‐ software/spotlight/5681/eRequester/Paperless%20Business%20Systems   CIO.  (n.d.).  E-­‐procurement.  Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  CIO:   http://www.cio.com.au/article/126743/why_government_isn_t_buying_e-­‐procurement_/   Australian  Government  -­‐  Department  of  Finance.  (n.d.).  E-­‐procurement  Guidance  for  Agencies.   Retrieved  April  8,  2015,  from  Australian  Government  -­‐  Department  of  Finance:   http://www.finance.gov.au/policy-­‐guides-­‐procurement/e-­‐procurement-­‐guidance-­‐for-­‐agencies/   NYu.edu.  (n.d.).  https://www.nyu.edu/classes/bkg/methods/005847ch1.pdf.  Retrieved  from   https://www.nyu.edu/classes/bkg/methods/005847ch1.pdf   Aberdeen  group.  Cloud  Invoice  Management-­‐SMB.     Aberdeen  group.  Excellence  in  order  maangement.     Aberdeen  group.  Are  you  getting  the  most  out  of  your  VMS.     Aberdeen  group.  Achieve  business  agility  through  e-­‐invoicing  and  other  key  AP  automation  initiatives  .     Aberdeen  group.  Laeder's  winning  strategies  for  common  issues  in  AP  and  AR  electronic  paymenst.     Deloitte  Group  .  The  deloitte  global  CPO  survey.     Verian.  Driving  smarter  spending  .    
  33. 33.   ARP  REPORT       33   Christine.  L.  Warner.  Duplicate  payments  and  duplicate  vendors.     Richard  Waugh.  Top  10  metrics  to  strengthen  organiational  practices.     http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/about/mediaroom/latest-­‐press-­‐releases/north-­‐american-­‐business-­‐ to-­‐business-­‐b2b-­‐software-­‐marketers-­‐using-­‐more-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐tactics-­‐than-­‐their-­‐peers/.  (n.d.).   Retrieved  from  www.contentmarketinginstitute.com:   http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/about/mediaroom/latest-­‐press-­‐releases/north-­‐american-­‐ business-­‐to-­‐business-­‐b2b-­‐software-­‐marketers-­‐using-­‐more-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐tactics-­‐than-­‐their-­‐peers/   Content  Strategy  for  Professionals:  Engaging  Audiences  for  Your  Organization.  Medill  on  Media   Engagement  Abe  Peck  and  Edward  .   http://www.insidecxm.com/new-­‐approaches-­‐for-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐promotion-­‐better-­‐use-­‐of-­‐marketing-­‐ analytics-­‐and-­‐leveraging-­‐sensors-­‐for-­‐improved-­‐customer-­‐experiences/.  (n.d.).  Retrieved  from   www.insidexm.com:  http://www.insidecxm.com/new-­‐approaches-­‐for-­‐content-­‐marketing-­‐promotion-­‐ better-­‐use-­‐of-­‐marketing-­‐analytics-­‐and-­‐leveraging-­‐sensors-­‐for-­‐improved-­‐customer-­‐experiences/       11.  Appendix     11.1  Survey  Questions  for  think  suppliers:       1. Supplier  name:   2. Supplier  broad  target  market  (B2B,  B2C,  both)?   3. Do  you  have  an  online  portal  to  sell  your  products/services  (Yes,  No)?     4. Does  this  online  portal  have  a  payment  gateway?  (  Yes,  No,  In  process  )     5. Is  this  portal   • Your  own  website   • Third-­‐party,  please  specify  which_____   • Both   6. Would  you  consider  your  online  portal  to  be  a  business  differentiator?   • Yes   • No   • Can’t  say     7. Please  rate  the  effectiveness  of  your  current  portal  for  the  following  on  a  scale  of  1  to   7:     1. Revenue:   1-­‐7     2. Profits:     1-­‐7   3. No  of  clicks   1-­‐7      
  34. 34.   ARP  REPORT       34   8. Which  of  the  below  functionalities  affect  your  choice  of  an  online  distribution  portal?                  Please  check  all  that  apply:     • Analytics   • User  Interface   • Ease  in  reconciling  invoices   • Minimal  Investment     9. Which  from  the  below  factors  would  you  like  to  improve  in  your  current  online   strategy:     -­‐  Reconciliation  of  accounts   -­‐  Invoicing  generation  cost/time   -­‐  Time  to  get  invoice  to  the  customer   -­‐  Accounts  receivables   -­‐  Customer  reach   -­‐  Ease  of  Use   -­‐  Ability  to  easily  analyse  data  and  represent  it  graphically   -­‐  Ability  to  deploy  a  system  at  a  low  cost  and  with  minimal  business  disruption   -­‐  Other  (please  specify)       10.  How  many  invoices  are  raised  per  month?   11.  How  many  people  do  you  employ  for  invoicing?   12.  What  are  some  problems  your  business  faces  with  invoicing?       -­‐  Duplication     -­‐  Debt  collection     -­‐  Customer  losing  invoices     -­‐  Difficulty  in  follow  ups     -­‐  Descriptor  differences  between  customer  purchase  order  and  our  invoice     -­‐  Other  (please  specify)     13.  What  are  your  average  debtor’s  days?  (No  of  days  it  takes  to  close  accounts  receivable)       -­‐  <=  14  days     -­‐  15  -­‐  30  days     -­‐  31  -­‐  60  days     -­‐  61  -­‐  90  days     -­‐  91  -­‐  120  days     -­‐  120  -­‐  180  days     14.  Rate  the  below  factors  on  a  scale  of  1-­‐7,  as  per  importance  to  your  business:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7       -­‐  No  of  distribution  channels       -­‐  Revenue       -­‐  Customer  loyalty    
  35. 35.   ARP  REPORT       35     15.  Please  enter  your  Industry  type:       -­‐  Healthcare     -­‐  IT     -­‐  Travel     -­‐  Hospitality     -­‐  FMCG     -­‐  Retail     -­‐  Other  (please  specify)     16.  Please  enter  your  location  of  business   17.  Designation  held  by  the  respondent:       -­‐  CEO     -­‐  CTO     -­‐  CPO     -­‐  Other  (please  specify)     18.  Company  annual  turnover  (in  USD  millions):       -­‐  1  -­‐  5       -­‐  5  –  10     -­‐  10  –  20     -­‐  20  –  50     -­‐  50  million  and  higher        

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